On the Upper East Side, Silent Prayers to Save a Sanctuary for the Deaf

Summarized by Hailey Scragg, staff writer

The Church of St. Elizabeth of Hungary was named New York’s Roman Catholic parish for the deaf in 1980 by Cardinal Terence Cooke. Today, it is much more than that. It has become a community of support and friendship for nearly 500 deaf New Yorkers, who go there to pray, study religion with clergy, and socialize. Sadly, this is coming to an end soon, because on November 2, the Archdiocese of New York announced St. Elizabeth had to close for regular use by next August as a part of a larger series of church mergings and closings. Father McCahill, a pastor of St. Elizabeth, is surprised and disappointed by the decision. He thought the status as New York’s sanctuary for the deaf would prevent the closing. No he said his job is just to try to remind people and the church: “Please, don’t let these people, who are marginalized in so many ways by society, be marginalized by the church.”

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